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Updated: May 19, 2020

๐Œ๐˜ ๐”๐’๐Œ๐‹๐„ ๐„๐—๐๐„๐‘๐ˆ๐„๐๐‚๐„ ๐“๐Ž ๐Œ๐€๐“๐‚๐‡ ๐ˆ๐ ๐๐˜๐‚ ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ

STEP BY STEP from medical school to Match Day

โ€ขStarted medical school in Argentina in 2009 (6 years program)

While in medical ๐™„ ๐™™๐™ž๐™™๐™ฃโ€™๐™ฉ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™š๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ข๐™ž๐™˜๐™–๐™ก ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ, so one of my first jobs was teaching English, and then Biology and Chemistry to High School students, after that Microbiology and Biochemistry in a Private Institute to medical students. I then applied for a scholarship in my school during my last two years, and they granted it to me ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I finished medical school December 2015, and I knew that I needed a lot of money to start my USMLE JOURNEY.

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐๐ข๐ ๐ˆ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐”๐’๐Œ๐‹๐„? โ€ขAs soon as I finished school and got my medical license, I started working full time as a General Practitioner in Argentina (You can work as a G.P. without a residency in my country). I would work 48, and sometimes 72 hrs continuous shift in the hospital.

Also, in my country we donโ€™t have paramedics, itโ€™s the doctor that goes in the ambulance, so I would do 16-18 hours shift in the ambulance, sometimes they would pick me up from the Hospital 8 am after my long shift and start my ambulance shift. My longest time working was during the holidays of 2016, I remember I worked for 15 days almost non-stop.

That's me on the photo in Argentina, after working a 48 hrs shift in the Hospital, and then doing my ambulance shift. Saving money to pursue my dream, with a very uncertain future, not idea that a couple of years later I would be matched in OB/GYN in New York City!

๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐๐ข๐ ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐”๐’๐Œ๐‹๐„ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง? โ€ขI started planning my Step 1 on April 2017, and started studying full-time on September 2017. In Argentina we study medicine in spanish, so I wasnโ€™t familiar with many enligh words, also last time I took basic sciences was like 6-7 years ago so I was basically ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐œ๐ž๐ซ๐จ. โ€ขI then started volunteering at a Hospital on December 2017, and then working on research on June 2018, where I also got USCE (you can see my previous posts on my page where I explained this in detail)

When did I take my exams?

  1. I took my Step 1 on October 2018

  2. Step 2 CS on May 2019

  3. CK August 30, 2019 so I could apply this year.

โ€ขI applied September 21 (one week after ERAS application opened because I was waiting for my CK result and my last LOR)

๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง and ๐–๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐๐ข๐ ๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ๐ฌ? โ€ขI interviewed for OB/GYN from October โ€˜19 to January 2020. โ€ขI had to fly for my interviews to: ๐‘ต๐’†๐’˜ ๐‘ฑ๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’†๐’š, ๐‘ต๐’†๐’˜ ๐’€๐’๐’“๐’Œ, ๐‘ด๐’Š๐’„๐’‰๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‚๐’, ๐‘ถ๐’‰๐’Š๐’, ๐‘ญ๐’๐’๐’“๐’Š๐’…๐’‚, ๐‘ฒ๐’‚๐’๐’”๐’‚๐’”.

๐ˆ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ ๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ: Something that I always wanted to do is to ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—น๐—ฑ before starting my residency. โ€ขOn October 2019, right before interview season, I flew to Japan to see the Rugby World Cup. Not very fun fact: I almost donโ€™t make it to my first interview because I got stuck in Tokyo extra days due to the super typhoon! ๐ŸŒช โ€ขOn January 2020 I flew to Europe for my first Eurotrip (Visited ๐‘ณ๐’๐’๐’…๐’๐’, ๐‘ท๐’‚๐’“๐’Š๐’”, ๐‘บ๐’‘๐’‚๐’Š๐’, ๐‘น๐’๐’Ž๐’†, ๐‘ป๐’–๐’“๐’Œ๐’†๐’š, and ๐‘ต๐’๐’“๐’˜๐’‚๐’š)

โ€ข If you are interested you can see my travels during my interviews, Japan and Europe on my Instagram: @doctor.sebas

โ€ขOn March 2020, matched in OB/GYN @ Lincoln Hospital NYC ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฃ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐  & ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐  I faced multiple challenges while in medical school, and during my USMLE preparation. โ€ข I didnโ€™t have a house/ place to study, had to find my own. โ€ข Not economical support from anyone. โ€ขI had to work hard before start studying, saving money because once I start studying, I didnโ€™t know when I was going to be able to get money again, and I had to pay for my exams, housing, applications, flights and hotels during interview season.

โ€ข Also, when I started my full-time preparation period for my STEPS, my mother faced a health issue, and she had over $30,000 dollars debt to the bank and about to be homeless, so ๐—œ ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ to help her resolve all those issues, and then returned to studying for Step 1. Luckily, she is perfectly fine now, and things are back on track ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€ขAt some point I even had to go to a small town in ๐Œ๐ž๐ฑ๐ข๐œ๐จ ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ (Malinalco) to study for my exam during a couple of months because I didnโ€™t know where I could study.

โ€ขAlso, Argentina medical school is in Spanish so I had to learn thousands of new English terminology, and also I was out of school for more than 2 years when I started my preparation

We only need a bed, some food, a computer with WiFi, and a desktop to study for Step 1 and CK, so you might be in the middle of nowhere but ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ถ๐˜ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐˜€!! 

I did have a lot of emotional support from my mother and grandmother which I love so much ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ

๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐‚๐€๐ ๐ƒ๐Ž ๐ˆ๐“: โ€ขI know you are facing a lot of tough times, same as I did all along my preparation. โ€ขI want you to know something, it may seem that the entire world is against you right now, that there is a big concrete wall that keeps getting higher and higher and impossible to climb.

But trust me, once you pass through that concrete, break through that wall, all the planets will alienate on your side.

๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐–๐ˆ๐‹๐‹ ๐๐„ ๐’๐“๐‘๐Ž๐๐†๐„๐‘: All that resilience and experience that you gained, will make you be the one that will solve the problems when everyone freaks out, the one that will stay and make it happen when everyone around you is in complete chaos that donโ€™t know what to do.

๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’”๐’• ๐’Ž๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’•๐’” ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’๐’”๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’„๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’Š๐’”: ๐‘ฉ๐’†๐’„๐’‚๐’–๐’”๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Š๐’๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’‘๐’†๐’•๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’„๐’‰๐’Š๐’„๐’Œ๐’†๐’๐’” ๐’๐’†๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’๐’”๐’† ๐’˜๐’‰๐’ ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’„๐’‚๐’‘๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’ˆ๐’–๐’•๐’” ๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’š.

โˆ™๐’๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ: Have that idea to stand to people that say that your idea is wrong. โˆ™๐†๐ž๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž: Prepare yourself for reality of today and unknown possibilities of tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™Œ โˆ™๐€๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ค๐ž๐ž๐ฉ ๐ ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐ : Have the strength to disappoint you now, in order to delight you later โˆ™๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ‘ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ: There are three states of being: Not knowing, action and completion. Once you have a plan and know how to do it, start it and take action, keep going hard, that the next step is completion, and celebration! โˆ™๐‡๐ž๐ฅ๐ฉ ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ: Also, as I always mention, help people along your preparation, along your life. When you invest time or recourses into someoneโ€™s success or happiness, and your payment is a share of that outcome, you become partners. ๐Ÿ™‚ โˆ™๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ง๐ž๐ ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž: Many times they want to tell us exactly what to do, and so many times thatโ€™s exactly the wrong approach My idea about creating is to put everything that you need for USMLE together in just one place, so you don't waste precious time going crazy trying to find something, and instead use that time to study, work or do more productive things :)

Good luck friends, I know that you can make it too!! Love you all โค

Sebastian Arruarana, MD Fb page: Doctor Sebas ๐—œ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ: @doctor.sebas

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Really Inspiring, Keep up the spirit!


Majdoub A. Tomy
Majdoub A. Tomy
Jun 27, 2020

An inspiring and ambitious person, I hope you talk about more things.


This is so inspiring and full of positivity!


Thank you so much for the great work your doing out there, for more IMGs like us. Your very motivating. Your journey through the hardships was a great one to follow and it was totally worth it In the end. The work your doing here, with all the guidance where necessary, is helping me through my struggles. Your blog has a lot of info that IMGs can benefit a lot from. Hats off! Thank you. ๐Ÿคฉ


May 26, 2020

Great share brother, keep pushing forward and opening doors for those behind you.

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